Flemington Speedway Historical Society Display
Will Anchor Quaker Steak and Lube Phillipsburg
When the doors of the Phillipsburg Mall open this Sunday, March 1st, it won't be sales attracting people to it's location just outside of Easton, Pennsylvania. It will be race cars, lots of them. And while they will be spread throughout the mall's walkways, it will certainly be the Flemington Speedway Historical Society display that will anchor the show.
Set up in an empty storefront, the FSHS display will feature the former Paul Kuhl Midget #8(pictured above), formerly driven by the great Stan Ploski. This will be only one of more than a dozen cars on display, which also includes one of the famous Doug Hoffman 60 over Dirt Modifieds.
Additionally, the FSHS display will feature vintage racing movies shown on a big screen, along with various track memorabilia from both the track's dirt, and asphalt days. The FSHS area has also become known as a gathering place for former drivers, crews, and fans, to share stories about the glory years of the famed "Square."
While the FSHS display may be the highlight of the Quaker Steak and Lube Dirt Track Heroes Show, it is far from the only reason to attend. Race cars from just about every division, including both asphalt and dirt, will be on display. There will also be several tracks represented with schedules, and highlights of their upcoming events.
The show takes place from Sunday, March 1st to Saturday, March 7th during regular mall hours at the Phillipsburg Mall located on Route 22 in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
For an idea of what the show has to offer we have included several photos of last year's event at the bottom of this page.
NJ Native Ray Evernham Nominated for NASCAR
Hall of Fame
Ray Evernham, who is best known as the Winston Cup winning crew chief for Jeff Gordon, has been nominated for possible election into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The native of Hazlet, New Jersey started his career as a racer on the various short track ovals of his home state before moving south and becoming known as one of the most innovative individuals in the recent history of the sport.
Evernham's racing career began behind the wheel with most of his driving success coming at his home track, Wall Stadium Speedway. He was the 1977 Modern Stock champion, and won seven times in the track's headlining Modified division. His competitors in those days included drivers like Gil Hearne, John Blewett Sr., and Jamie Tomaino, just to name a few.
At the age of 26 Ray was hired by IROC, which was based in New Jersey. The series pitted the top drivers from various forms of motor sports, in identically prepared cars, against each other on various tracks. Evernham started as a chassis specialist, and quickly rose up within the organization, making numerous NASCAR connections during his time there.
Perhaps the biggest break of his career came at what probably seemed to be his darkest moment at the time. Ray was working for Sprint Cup Champion Alan Kulwicki when a difference of philosophy led to his dismissal. Representatives of Ford didn't want Ray to get away so they paired him with an up and coming driver at Bill Davis Racing named Jeff Gordon.
After a brief stay at the Bill Davis operation both Evernham and Gordon moved to the Chevrolets of Hendrick Motorsports. It was there that the careers of both began to flourish. Together they won 47 Cup races, and three titles. The first in 1995, and then back-to-back in 1997 and 1998.
Evernham's innovative thinking was most evident in his creation of the "Rainbow Warriors", the nickname given to the pit crew members of the brightly painted number 24 car they serviced. Throughout the sport's history the guys changing tires, and fueling the cars, at the races on the weekends were all mechanics that worked in the shop all week.
Ray changed that by hiring athletic crew men whose sole responsibility was pit stops. Rather than work on the cars during the week they trained, and practiced their responsibilities for the pit stops. The result was quicker stops, which meant more positions on the track. Today this is how every major NASCAR racing team works, and pit stops have gone from as much as a 20 plus second stop for four tires and fuel down to as quick as 11 seconds.
Evernham left Hendrick Motorsports following the 1999 season to form Evernham Motorsports. He began his operation racing out of the Bill Elliot shop with Casey Atwood as his driver in 2000.
He was then chosen by Daimler Chrysler to bring the Dodge brand back to NASCAR. With full manufacturer backing his team competed in Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Craftsman Truck Series races. His drivers included Bill Elliot, Kasey Kahn, Jeremy Mayfield, and Elliot Sadler, among others.
He eventually sold the team, and after several business deals it became what is known today as Richard Petty Motorsports.
The next chapter in Evernham's career came behind the microphone. He had several stints as a racing analyst for ESPN/ABC from 2008 to 2013. He is currently the host of AmeriCARna on the Velocity channel, as well as returning to Hendrick Motorsports as a consultant.
Also part of his NASCAR history is the dubious distinction of holding the record for a long time of the largest fine in the sport's history. In 1995 he was fined $60,000 for unapproved suspension parts on his race car. Luckily for him NASCAR thought several individuals have done far worse things, recently, and that dollar amount has been far surpassed.
It is also ironic that one of the biggest names on the list of the 20 potential NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees with Evernham is the man that let him go, enabling him to hook up with Gordon, Alan Kulwicki.
The other nominees are Mark Martin, Harry Hyde, Hershel McGriff, Bobby Isaac, Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Terry Labonte, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Burton Smith, Mike Stefanik, Curtis Turner, and Robert Yates.
Not a bad list of people to be associated with for a Jersey boy who just wanted to race a car against his childhood heroes.